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Hawaiian Airlines Partners with Mana Up to Support Island Entrepreneurs

December 21, 2017, 9:32 AM HST (Updated December 21, 2017, 9:32 AM)
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From the Hawaiian Airlines website.

Hawaiian Airlines recently announced it has become the exclusive airline partner of Mana Up to support the group’s mission to accelerate the growth of island-based retail and food entrepreneurs.

The agreement builds on Hawaiian’s longstanding history of sourcing local products to offer guests an authentically Hawaiian travel experience, while helping expand opportunities for companies to gain exposure to a global audience.

“Our flights are the ideal platform to introduce millions of visitors and our kama‘āina to Hawai‘i-made products, but companies often have difficulty scaling their operations to meet our high volume and global supply chain,” said Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Airlines. “Mana Up can bridge this gap by helping companies adapt their production to the demands of larger businesses such as Hawaiian’s.”

“With growing consumer demand for connection to culture and personal narratives, the door is wide open for authentic Hawai’i products, yet they have only a small share of the multi-billion dollar market,” said Meli James, Mana Up co-founder along with Brittany Heyd and Michael Cheski. “And while top Hawai‘i brands generate more than $300 million annually, most struggle to scale beyond a few hundred thousand. Mana Up is going to change that.”

Through its 12-week accelerator program starting in January 2018, Mana Up will build distribution channels through partners and digital platforms, connect companies to a network of advisors, help craft an attractive narrative for expansion and host workshops.

Nine Big Island companies have applied for the accelerator program.

As revenue grows, Mana Up will help companies understand how to meet production demands.

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Hawaiian Airlines anticipates the Mana Up program will help it significantly increase the millions of dollars the carrier spends annually on locally made products to serve its guests.

Hawaiian features an array of island goods aboard its flights, among them Maui Brewing beer, Ocean Vodka, as well as food from La Tour Bakehouse and Honolulu Cookie Company.

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